It’s approximately 7:10 Sunday night, Pacific Time. My companion and I just finished our (second) dinner with a recent convert family after church (this is what happens when church doesn't get out until 5:30). We step outside and pause. We are at the bottom of the driveway of a house on a hill overlooking most of the Tri-Cities. It’s dark out, and there are lights shining throughout the horizon. The air is surprisingly still. Not much to be heard. Around the corner the Angel Moroni atop the Columbia River Temple is shining. There is a feeling that permeated everything. We look around. It’s a feeling we hadn't felt in a while. We look at each other, and come to a silent agreement. The state of Washington in its entirety is lamenting the loss of the Seahawks at the Super Bowl.
And in other news, our week, despite the loss of the Seahawks, managed to be pretty good this week. Tuesday and Wednesday was a pretty exciting experience for us. The JustServe project I had mentioned something about last week happened on those two days and ended up being super successful. There was a giant section at an intersection of previously empty dirt. Just dirt. Not terribly pleasing to the eye. So the City of Kennewick bought tons of rocks to spread out over the area to help in weed control and make it look nicer. The rock showed up in approximately 12 piles of rock that needed to be spread out, and who better to do it than 10 18-24 year old missionaries who would do anything to not have to tract in the rain? The project itself was pretty labor intensive and we are still exhausted from it 5 days later but it turned out to be really beneficial, not only to the City of Kennewick but for the relationship we are beginning to build between the City and the Church. My companion and I are the go-between the High Councilor assigned to JustServe and the missionaries so we have been able to see all the behind the scenes stuff and how it all gets worked out. I’m excited to see where this goes later on.
So just a random side note I thought of the other day. You know your area is awesome when you park outside of your Mission President's house to try by some potentials and look over and see the temple (which is still in your area). Anyways moving on.
Cool story from church yesterday. We were in Gospel Principles class when our phone goes off and my companion checks it to find a text from one of the bishopric, requesting that we go to the bishop's office quick if we are still in the building. So we do and as we get there, a man named Justin (not his name) was sitting there and by the looks of his clothes (namely not being in a suit) we knew something was up. Come to find out that Justin has just been left by his girlfriend who took his daughter and another one away and was battling with an addiction to alcohol which he wanted to overcome. He felt super alone and destitute in life and was looking for direction. At this point the bishopric has to go start a meeting (we are still in the middle of church at this point) so they leave us with him and we talk to him for a bit trying to find out more and teaching him a little bit to help reassure him there is hope. We ask him what made him come into the church and he relates to us the story of how he was driving down the road to go up the hill and look out over the city (the church/temple is backed up onto a hill) to ponder what he wanted to do with his life and he said that as he drove by he saw people coming in and out of the church building and felt like he should go in and was like "Why not?" So he did. It was at that point when he was sitting on the couch in the foyer and the bishopric member saw him and invited him into the office to talk with him. We had to get going to an appointment at this point so we left him with a Book of Mormon and a copy of the Restoration pamphlet with a link to LDS.org (he said that since he was changing his life around he might as well go all the way so he asked if we had any music since the stuff on the radio was not the best stuff to be listening to) and gave him our contact info and told him the missionaries that pertain to the ward he would normally attend would contact him in the next few days. If that wasn't a miracle I don't know what is.
So for the quote this week, it comes from an experience we had Thursday night. The Activity Days girls (which up until Thursday night I had little to no knowledge about; I just knew it existed) were having an activity and they asked us to come and talk to them about the joy in missionary service. That in and of itself was a suprisingly spiritual experience seeing how excited they all were to serve missions and share the gospel, but the quote comes from the question and answer session they had at the end. One of the girls up front was raising her hand so high she was about to fall out of her seat so we call on her and she asks us both how old we are to which we reply 19. She gets super excited and then responds back with:
"You can marry my sister! And so can you!"
The look of shock and alarm on the leaders' faces was almost as hilarious as the answer itself.
Anyways, that's all she wrote for this week so I'll see you again next week. Happy February to all!